My earliest recollection of the late E.B. John was when he conducted my first job interview and voice test. My first impression was of his serious approach, and the obvious high level of professionalism with which he engaged…“Excellent Hadaway” He said. I thanked him politely after the interview was concluded and said “It was a pleasure to meet you Mr. John.” EB looked up at me and erupted in laughter, He said, “We’ve known you since you were running around in diapers” “What!” In shock and embarrassment I can still recall his laughter as he reminded me, “Next door to your home at Bay Street was actually our first location of our station know then as WIBBS.
My appointment letter came soon after from Mr. Hermus Liverpool, the then General Manager of 705 Radio. I was thrilled. Life had taken me full circle and landed me at NBC Radio.
After Mr. Liverpool retired E.B. John assumed the management position and piloted NBC Radio into what is ingrained in my memory as a most incredible time in my professional and personal development. I witnessed so many successful events and programs under Mr. John’s leadership at NBC Radio. He was truly a stalwart in broadcasting, and well loved by staff and listening audiences alike. He nurtured creativity and innovation in his staff as seen in the early successes of the caroling competition, and encouraged Glen Jackson’s advocacy to save the banana Industry.
EB was a great motivator. He expected the best from his team and his team delivered. I remain grateful for the opportunity afforded me to learn from EB and the best people in the broadcasting business at 705 Radio. He was an excellent teacher always willing to share his vast knowledge of broadcasting. I remain grateful for the wealth of knowledge I gained there under his tutelage. Positive reinforcement for excellence in performance was second nature to our Boss. He didn’t just pick up the phone, he considered it his duty to come in person to salute and attribute credit where credit was due. There was never a dull moment around Evans Bernard John, his humor was infectious and I dare say the mighty Sparrow should be grateful EB John chose radio over calypso. When EB rendered a Sparrow tune we all thought a record was playing. He was that talented. His humor was reflected in his own “Handbag” composition which was well received during the carnival and tent season.
Carnival time at 705 was very exciting and an integral part of Radio life. Mr. John was no stranger to the Carnival stage as an eloquent and seasoned host of many shows including The Miss SVG and Miss Caraval shows. Winning the Miss SVG title and any other title for that matter became by extension a 705 win. When I assisted Anna Young a 705 co-worker and friend in her pageant success to enter the Miss World Show; EB actually hosted the show and moral support was a constant backstage securing a double win for NBC Radio. The home of Carnival was indeed 705 radio. Those were the good old days I can never forget.
During my time at the station EB impressed me with his fairness, his leading by example, his pride in our accomplishments and his unbiased nature.
I am so saddened by the news of E.B. John’s passing. While I will always remember his impact on my life… above all, I will cherish what he shared with me in confidence…and I’m sure my late mother and EB wouldn’t mind me sharing how deep and mutual the respect was, that they had for each other. Their paths crossed when she served as a member of the Board of Directors of NBC and he would often recount how she impacted his life during those challenging years. He held my Mom in such high esteem and this was despite the complexities that still plague party politics and the media today. I share this truth because I am sure EB would echo the same sentiments that… “Behind the politics are people, our people. How we treat one another is truly what defines us and should take precedence over any party politics.” E.B. John lived that mantra, and he recognized and appreciated others who did the same.
My heart is so saddened at the passing of Evans Bernard John. He was someone who was not only my former manager and mentor but someone who had become a genuine friend of our family.
I wish to express my deepest condolences to his wife Mrs. Shelly John and their children and his extended family. Please know we share in your loss.
EB as we bid you farewell I’d like to say thank you not only for the way you profoundly impacted my life but thank you for touching so many lives. We will miss you.
I am Nicole Hadaway
From NBC Radio 705